IFC Lends Societe Generale Serbia 70 Million Euros for Farmers

The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private-sector lending arm, will lend 70 million euros ($87.7 million) to the Serbian unit of Societe Generale SA (GLE) to finance agricultural development.

The loan is part of the IFC’s effort to “strengthen the regional banking sector and support economic recovery,” the lender and the bank said in a joint statement.

The IFC has identified agriculture as one of the areas in with strong growth potential. Agriculture generates around 20 percent of the Serbian economy. Around 45 percent of Serbia’s 7.2 million citizens live in rural areas and one-third relies on agriculture for income.

In 2011, the industry generated $2.8 billion in export revenue, a 20 percent increase from the previous year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Crosby at acrosby1@bloomberg.net

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